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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 108, Issue 2, pp e110–e116 | Cite as

Patterns and factors of problematic marijuana use in the Canadian population: Evidence from three cross-sectional surveys

  • W. I. Andrew Bonner
  • Mustafa Andkhoie
  • Charlene Thompson
  • Marwa Farag
  • Michael SzafronEmail author
Quantitative Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study are to describe marijuana use in Canada and explore factors associated with problematic use.

METHODS: Data from the 2010–2012 circulations of the Canadian Alcohol and Drug Use Monitoring Survey were used to create three logistic regression models for the purposes of identifying and comparing factors associated with the degree of marijuana use, as determined via the WHO Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Abuse Involvement Screening Test (non-problematic, problematic) and European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (experiential, recent, current) methods.

RESULTS: Canadians aged 15–24 years are 15 times (p < 0.001) more likely to be current users than Canadians aged 65 or older, with the odds of exhibiting problematic marijuana use being 10 times (p < 0.001) greater. The odds of a male exhibiting problematic marijuana use are 2.46 times (p < 0.001) greater than for females. The odds of exhibiting problematic marijuana use are 41.0% (p = 0.031) and 53.0% (p = 0.008) greater for marijuana users with household incomes $40,000–$80,000 and less than $40,000 respectively compared to those with household income over $80,000. An earlier age of first marijuana use is associated with problematic use but not necessarily with being a current user.

CONCLUSION: The majority of our findings are consistent with the literature, showing that Canadians who are: male, adolescent or young adult, smokers, heavy drinkers, other illicit drug users, and who have poorer mental health status are more likely to engage in any marijuana use, particularly higher levels of marijuana use. These findings can be used to inform the development of policy in Canada to address problematic marijuana use and prepare for its possible legalization.

Key Words

Cannabis health policy smoking mental health substance-related disorders 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS: Décrire la consommation de marijuana au Canada et explorer les facteurs associés à sa consommation abusive.

MÉTHODE: À l’aide des données des tirages 2010–2012 de l’Enquête de surveillance canadienne de la consommation d’alcool et de drogues, nous avons créé trois modèles de régression logistique afin d’identifier et de comparer les facteurs associés au degré de consommation de marijuana, déterminé selon le questionnaire ASSIST (Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Abuse Involvement Screening Test) de l’OMS (consommation non abusive, consommation abusive) et selon les méthodes de l’Observatoire européen des drogues et des toxicomanies (consommation expérimentale, récente, actuelle).

RÉSULTATS: Les Canadiens de 15 à 24 ans sont 15 fois (p < 0,001) plus susceptibles d’être des consommateurs actuels que les Canadiens de 65 ans et plus, et leur probabilité d’avoir une consommation abusive de marijuana est 10 fois plus élevée (p < 0,001). La probabilité qu’un homme ait une consommation abusive de marijuana est 2,46 fois supérieure (p < 0,001) à celle d’une femme. Les probabilités de consommation abusive de marijuana sont 41 % (p = 0,031) plus élevées chez les consommateurs de marijuana dont le revenu du ménage si situe entre 40 000 $ et 80000 $, et 53 % (p = 0,008) plus élevées chez ceux dont le revenu est inférieur à 40 000 $, comparativement à ceux dont le revenu du ménage est supérieur à 80000 $. L’âge précoce de la première consommation de marijuana est associé à la consommation abusive, mais pas nécessairement au fait d’être consommateur actuel.

CONCLUSION: La majorité de nos constatations sont conformes aux documents publiés; elles indiquent que les Canadiens qui sont de sexe masculin, adolescents ou jeunes adultes, fumeurs, buveurs excessifs, consommateurs d’autres drogues illicites et dont l’état de santé mentale est moins bon sont plus susceptibles de consommer de la marijuana, et en particulier d’avoir des niveaux de consommation élevés. Ces constatations peuvent servir à éclairer l’élaboration de politiques au Canada pour aborder la consommation abusive de marijuana et nous préparer à sa légalisation possible.

Mots Clés

cannabis politique de santé tabagisme santé mentale troubles liés à une substance 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. I. Andrew Bonner
    • 1
  • Mustafa Andkhoie
    • 1
  • Charlene Thompson
    • 1
  • Marwa Farag
    • 1
  • Michael Szafron
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Public HealthUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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